"Living with a Past: C. P. Ellis" from American Dreams: Lost and Found by Studs Terkel

Prepared by Dr. Loretta Kasper

In his essay, Ellis expressed the view that "People are being used by those in control, those who have all the wealth." He said, "...those who have it simply don't want those who don't have it to have any part of it...When it comes to money, the green, the other colors make no difference."

Consider these statements. What is Ellis saying? How do these statements relate to the events of his life? Write several paragraphs in which you answer these questions.

The founding fathers of our country fought for a government ruled "by the people and for the people;" however, is it possible for an ordinary person to rise to power in our society? Brainstorm in groups to make a list of some important leaders in politics, business, literature, etc. Research these people using our Search Resources page.

Write a well-organized esssy in which you express your own viewpoints on the statements above. Do you agree that wealth leads to power in our society and that the wealthy and powerful do not want to share their wealth and power with the rest of us. Choose to discuss one or more of these people in your essay. Be sure to support your argument with specific facts and examples from your research.

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Professor of English

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May 10, 2004

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